Postcoital test

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The postcoital test (PCT) (also known as Sims test, Huhner test or Sims-Huhner test) is a test in the evaluation of infertility. The test examines interaction between sperm and mucus of the cervix.

Procedure[edit]

The PCT is scheduled close to ovulation when mucus is abundant, and the infertile couple is asked to have sexual intercourse, preferably in early hours of morning. Several hours later (usually 2), the woman is examined by the physician. The mucus is aspirated from cervical canal and spread on a glass slide. Smear from posterior fornix is used as control. 10-50 motile sperms per high power field are considered normal. Rotatory or shaky motion of sperms indicates presence of antispermal antibody. Cervical mucus is examined for quality, viscosity and fern test.[1]

A poor PCT may indicate sperm or mucus problems, including perhaps presence of immune factors that inactivate sperm. Also ovulatory problems and poor coital technique may affect the PCT. The test is useless in presence of cervical infection.[1]

With the application of principles of evidence-based medicine the role of the PCT has been questioned and its use has become controversial.[2]

History[edit]

It was apparently first performed by J. Marion Sims and later described by Max Huhner.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Padubidri; Daftary (2011). Shaw's Textbook of Gynaecology, 15e. p. 204. ISBN 9788131225486
  2. ^ Pavone ME, Hirshfeld-Cytron JE, Kazer RR, 'The progressive simplification of the infertility evaluation.' Obstet Gynecol Surv. 2011 Jan;66(1):31-41. PMID 21510910